How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Marianna 72360
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Marianna AR is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Marianna AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Marianna AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Marianna AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Marianna AR home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Marianna AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Marianna AR physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Marianna AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Marianna AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Marianna healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Marianna AR home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Marianna AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Marianna Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Marianna AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Marianna is a city in and the county seat of Lee County, Arkansas, United States. Located along the L'Anguille River in the Arkansas Delta just north of the St. Francis National Forest, the community was known as Walnut Ridge until 1852 when it became known as Marianna. The city's economy has historically been based on agricultural, especially cotton production. The city is located along Crowley's Ridge Parkway and the Great River Road, both National Scenic Byways showcasing Crowley's Ridge and the Mississippi River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), all land. The town's current mayor is Hon. Mayor Jimmy Williams who took office on January 1, 2011.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,115 people, 1,664 households, and 1,068 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,440.0 people per square mile (555.7/km²). There were 2,196 housing units at an average density of 610.4 per square mile (235.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 20.9% White, 76.6% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.0% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. 0.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Marianna AR
Selecting the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Marianna AR.
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